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Custom Home Features That Never Go out of Style

Custom Home Features That Never Go out of Style


Despite a volatile market over the last decades, custom home sales are staying strong overall.  Custom homes are a reliable sector in the housing market, according to the National Association of Home Builders (2017). Buyers have tried to get more bang for their buck, though. In 2017 and 2018, the average size of a custom home dropped from 2618 square feet to 2555 square feet. That drop in total square feet indicates a buyer's desire to make the most of every dollar spent. Making the most of every dollar spent means packing in as many custom features as possible.

But not all features are created equal. Owners often get caught up in trendy fads and the latest decorating styles and do not consider whether or not those fads add anything to the value of the home. Many of the trends date a custom home and work against its marketability later.  Some extras never go out of style and remain useful, though. These extras make the home sellable through fad after fad because they are practical. When building a custom home, consider including these features that will remain desirable and useful for years to come.


Safe Rooms

Safe rooms can be on the floor of a garage, finished out as just another room, or built off-site and set in place later. Whatever the configuration, safe rooms are useful. Most people live in an area with at least some seasonal bad weather. Safe rooms offer homeowners peace of mind. FEMA occasionally does a reimbursement program to builders for including safe rooms that meet FEMA standards in newly built homes.  Even if FEMA is not currently doing a reimbursement deal, builders can find the requirements online for FEMA-endorsed safe rooms (

Extra Outlets

It is so frustrating to not have an electrical outlet where you need one. Consider outlet placement carefully when building a custom home.  Remember to include cable tv and telephone outlets on at least two sides of living rooms, bedrooms, offices, and media rooms. (Yes, people still look for these in a home. Besides, arranging furniture will be much easier because there are plenty of outlets, too.) Hidden outlets in drawers are handy for small appliances and beauty items in kitchens and bathrooms. Large rooms need at least one outlet on the floor. Consider putting outlets about waist high in garages or shops. At that height, outlets are less likely to get lost behind items and it saves stooping. Place outside outlets on all sides of the home.

Generator Hook-Up

Having a generator hook-up wired into the home's breaker box is easy for an electrician to do and will give a family peace of mind.  Hook up vital breakers to the generator so items such as a refrigerator/freezer, heater/air conditioner, and a section of lights remain operatable. Simply let the electrician know what items you'd like to remain operational when the power goes out and then have those routed to the generator during a power failure.

Easy Attic Access

No one likes those pull down attic ladders. It makes getting items into the attic difficult. Make your attic useful by giving it easy access.  Consider using one end of a garage for stairs leading to an attic or storage space. If building a multi-story home, have attic access on the upper floor.  In place of the pull-down ladder, consider a lift for heavy items, too. It takes up the same amount of space as the ladders do and are far handier. It also promotes safety since there will be no more carrying heavy items to storage. Simply put it on the lift and send it to the attic.

Oversized Garage or Additional Garage

Most families have multiple drivers and several cars. Consider a three-car garage or a standard two car garage with a detached third garage. The detached garage can be used for parking, storage, a shop, or studio. A porte-cochere or awning is also nice to get to the detached garage without having to get out in the weather. Even expanding a garage two feet on all sides makes a tremendous difference when trying to get in and out of the car. When drawing up custom house plans, it's simple to add the extra feet during the planning phase.

Maximized Storage

A well-thought our house plan uses every inch of available space wisely. Whether it's custom cabinets with lots of dividers, sections, and dedicated storage space, or storage built-in under a set of stairs, custom homes maximize storage space. Make sure the home has various types of storage. Walk-in closets should have shelves, drawers, rods, and dividers.  Consider laundry basket storage, rods, folding areas, and ironing board storage in the often neglected laundry room. Add locker style storage in a mudroom or entryway. Consider various heights for kitchen cabinets, too. Create storage space near the ceiling in the garage to get items up and out of the way. Even consider dedicating a closet to holiday decor storage. Sites like Pinterest are your best friend for clever ideas. Great storage and closets sell a house more than any other single feature.


Solid Core Doors

Most people do not consider doors as being important, but they are. Doors provide security and privacy. Solid core doors feel more substantial and dampen sound.  Much better than their hollow core counterparts, solid core doors make your house quieter and feel more sturdy.

Building a custom home means tons of decisions. It can be easy to get caught up in the trends, but instead, consider all of the little details that will continually add value to your home. Spend money on those items rather than trendy fads that might hurt the resale of your home in the future.

Hot 2019 Trends in Kitchen Design and Décor


Hot 2019 Trends in Kitchen Design and Décor


If a kitchen remodeling is well underway for you in 2019, then you might want to get viable ideas flowing by considering these trends in residential kitchen design and décor. Most of them do not really break the bank and may fit easily into your lifestyle.

Pendant Lighting

Suspended from a high-ceilinged kitchen area and over the countertop island, pendant lights lend a touch of luxury, especially to an open-layout kitchen. Both functional and decorative, pendant-style light fixtures can range from strikingly sculptural sockets to minimalist bare bulbs.

Color Palettes that Juxtapose Warmth with Cold

Think of the warm sheen of bronze or copper fixtures foregrounded by Arctic blue-gray slate tiles. Yellow foisted against industrial concrete also makes for an interesting finish, if you are thinking of repainting your kitchen soon. The latest trend in kitchen color schemes plays on the electrifying dynamics between warm and cool shades.


An all-black look is making a strong comeback in 2019. And yes, traditional white is losing its luster among would-be kitchen renovators. From cabinetry to appliances, dramatic black--and its corresponding ease of maintenance as the shade perfectly conceals potential stains--is high on the list of hot kitchen design trends for 2019.

Hidden Work Areas

Another design and décor trend that's sure to take off in 2019 is a kitchen that does not look like a kitchen and one that blends seamlessly with the home's living areas. This means creatively hiding the clutter and the grind. The pantry of kitchen staples is sequestered from sight by cabinet doors. Hood ranges are artfully hidden. Doors sporting folding fluted glass or attractive screens are used to section off the cooking area, larder, and so on.

Single-Block Stone Sink

If you have been mulling over finally replacing your dented stainless steel sink, a strong trend for kitchen sinks in 2019 is a cool nod to the Italian countryside. Consider looking at sinks that are cut and smoothened from a gorgeous solid block of stone. Over time, your stone sink is sure to age beautifully. A single-block stone sink is best paired with vintage-looking fixtures and faucets.

The above design trends may work perfectly for you and your lifestyle. Best of luck with your planned kitchen renovation!

5 Straightforward Ways to Add Superior Style to Your Home Decor

5 Straightforward Ways to Add Superior Style to Your Home Decor

Stylish home decor doesn't need to depend on expensive materials or complicated designs. Often, keeping a few simple tips in mind can make a huge difference to your decor's overall effect. This is true no matter which particular look you're aiming to achieve.
Here are five excellent examples of when small, thoughtful changes can bring impressive results.


1) Simple Wall Finishes

For an ultimately stylish look and feel for a room, less is often more. This is particularly true for the finish of your walls. Keep to a light and neutral shade such as cream, beige, or pale yellow rather than getting fancy with patterns and bold color schemes.
This will this make your rooms feel lighter and larger. Just as importantly, it'll also allow your accessories and decorations to make a greater impact against a simpler background.


2) Position Furniture Sociably

It's often said that pushing your furniture back against the walls will make a room feel more spacious. However, you can make a room feel warmer and more sociable by bringing your couch and chairs inward a little, and turning them to slightly face each other rather than the TV.
This style of positioning also adds more angles to your room for greater visual interest, compared to the sterile lines of furniture placed against the walls.


3) The Power of Mirrors

Mirrors are a great way of increasing the spacious feel of a room, but they offer other style possibilities too. If you place your mirrors at right angles to a window or door, the complicated reflection patterns make your room far more engaging to the eye. This will also highlight the effects of subtle color and material variations around the room.


4) Keep a Sense of Scale

Don't let individual items take over a room. For example, you may think hanging a large piece of artwork will make for a dramatic centerpiece and focal point. The chances are, however, such a dominating choice will simply detract from your other decor efforts. With wall decorations especially, it's usually better to impress through variety and interesting placement rather than with size.


5) Careful Lighting for a Stylish Effect

A room's lighting is about far more than simple utility. To see the full decor effect, your lighting should be split into three groups.

First, your main overhead lighting should provide a gentle room-encompassing glow rather than harsh illumination. Next, use individual lamps to brighten gloomy corners, or to brighten up specific areas such as writing desks or coffee tables.

Lastly, use lower-powered decorative lighting to bring out individual features such as artwork or shelving. Incidental lighting can also add another vertical layer to break up a particularly high room or stairway.

A room's look and feel is about much more than the basic decor elements, designs, and materials it uses. Paying attention to the effects of light and space can make an immense difference to the overall style - and it doesn't need to be complicated or expensive to do so.


An Elegant, Contemporary Master Bedroom Using Gray and Silver

An Elegant, Contemporary Master Bedroom Using Gray and Silver

When you enter your master bedroom, you want it to feel inviting and serene while looking gorgeous and chic. So, if you're thinking that your master bedroom needs redecorating, consider trendy new furniture and accent pieces in gray and silver to create an elegant look that you're sure to love.


Bed Choice - To start, in any bedroom, the bed almost always serves as the focal point in the room, so you'll want the perfect design that will reflect a contemporary décor. For a comfortable and stylish choice, opt for an upholstered headboard in a dusty gray. Choose a plush, tufted fabric for a fabulous look. Cover the bed with a medium gray comforter with hand-stitched ribbing and pillow shams to match.

Storage Bench - At the foot of the bed, set an upholstered bench with a tufted gray cushion seat in an opulent design, such as one with a glazed silver-tone finish. Such a gorgeous furniture piece will give you extra sitting space and also an area where you can place clothing when you get undressed at night. You'll love the soft elegance that a bench provides along with its functionality.

Nightstands - You'll also want to add side tables with lamps to your bedroom. On each side of the headboard, opt for high-fashion, two-drawer nightstands. Choose pieces made of sturdy wood with a silver-tone metallic finish. Chrome handles with faux crystals will add a glamorous and upscale look to your room. Also, faux shagreen drawer fronts will provide a richly textured appearance to the furniture. Add coordinating lamps in silver with gray-toned shades.


Cabinetry and Mirror - To finish the decor, select a matching, silver-tone chest with five drawers along with a six-drawer dresser. Above the bureau hang a regal-looking, silver, rectangular mirror with an arch in the center of the top frame. With these glorious-appearing furniture pieces, you'll have plenty of storage in a look that you'll love.

Using a neutral color such as gray in your bedroom doesn't mean you'll need to settle for a dull appearance. Pairing gray with silver will bring out the beauty and elegance of both colors. With the appropriate choice of furniture and accent pieces, you can readily design the contemporary, master bedroom of your dreams.


Barn Doors Aren't Just for Entryways

Barn Doors Aren't Just for Entryways

If you enjoy the look of barn doors, you can now get this design feature in areas of your home other than your entryways. Whether your décor is rustic or modern or something in between, barn doors are a distinctive look that can upgrade the appearance of any room.
Entertainment Unit - Having barn doors on an entertainment unit is a fabulous way to hide your television when it's not in use. With shelves on either side of the barn doors, the doors can slide open in front of the shelving to expose your television. When you close the doors, your screen will become hidden, and the décor pieces on your shelves will remain exposed, creating a sophisticated look that everyone will love.
Large Bookcase - Barn doors incorporated into a bookcase is another beautiful look. Whether the barn door is designed only on the bottom or spanning the entire length of one side, such a feature will make your room look as if you have a custom piece of furniture in it. You can hide paperwork, video games, electronics, or other items behind the barn door and merely slide it open to get what you want, and then cover it back up when you're through.
Bathroom Vanity Cabinet - For a unique look in your bathroom, try a vanity cabinet with a sliding barn door in the front. Behind the door, you can store extra toilet paper or cleaning items. On the open side, you can keep towels or decorator items that will remain visible and add to the beauty of your bath. Choose traditional black hardware or match the hardware finish to your faucet for a coordinated look.
Kitchen Island - Instead of a standard island, opt for one with a unique design. Barn doors incorporated into the cabinetry of your kitchen island will add a trendy look to any kitchen. You can have open shelving on both sides or just in the middle if you need additional hidden space. Choose white cabinetry with brushed nickel hardware for a contemporary look or a natural-toned matte finish with black hardware for a rustic look. For traditional décor, select a medium gloss in dark wood for a stylish appearance.
Barn door designs are finding their way into all sorts of home décor items nowadays. This look has become a favorite with homeowners and will instantly give your interior a chic appearance that you'll enjoy for years to come.